• Thando Hopa is a model, activist and lawyer from South Africa.
  • In 2019, she made history as the first person with albinism to appear on the cover of Vogue.
  • Her Davos 2020 Betazone talk tackles some of the biggest topics around issues of diversity and inclusivity.

In her Betazone talk at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting at Davos, "The Beauty of Inclusion", South African model, activist and lawyer Thando Hopa talks about her experiences as a person with albinism, representation and how we can build a more inclusive world.

She discusses how issues around race, identity and self-perception were investigated in a 1940s experiment that told children to attribute qualities to a series of dolls that were identical except for colour, and then asked them to select the doll they thought looked represented them.

For Hopa, this experiment has a particularly personal relevance: as a black African woman with albinism, which doll should she identify with, she asks?

Her career has given her opportunities to challenge perceptions and confront prejudice and stereotypes. And throughout she has been keenly aware that her experience illustrates true inclusivity means finding space for everyone, affording everyone respect and giving people agency over their sense of identity.

Thando Hopa, Diversity Advocate and International Model, Thando Hopa Media, South Africa; Cultural Leader, speaking during the session The Beauty of Inclusion at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 22nd of January. Congress Centre - in  Betazone Copyright by World Economic Forum/Jakob Polacsek inclusive diversity beauty beautiful change acceptance albino albinism south africa activist law lawyer speech speaker rights human advocacy role model
Thando Hopa speaking during The Beauty of Inclusion at Davos 2020.
Image: Flickr/World Economic Forum

Watch Thando Hopa’s Betazone talk and hear her call for us all to work together for a future large enough for everyone.